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Eric Peterson, Published February 19 2010

Peterson: Cobbers roll into regionals

Concordia has already had a memorable wrestling campaign, earning a school single-season record 12 dual wins.

The Cobbers want to add to that success Saturday when they wrestle at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional, which is being hosted by Augsburg College.

The Cobbers (12-5) set the school’s record for dual victories despite a tough schedule. Concordia had duals against nine teams that were ranked in the

D-III national poll.

“I think it’s nice for the guys for each team to hang their hat on. To win 12 duals this year was quite an accomplishment for the competition we had this year,” Cobbers head coach Clay Nagel said. “The guys, confidence-wise, know they have competed against some of the best teams in the nation. We know we can step on the mat and compete with anybody.”

Nagel said he hopes to have four wrestlers make the national tournament, which is slated for March 5 and 6 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Last season, the Cobbers advanced two individuals to the national tournament. The top two finishers in each of the 10 weight classes make the national tournament with an extra eight wrestlers advancing as wild cards.

The Cobbers top threats at the regional are juniors Phil Moenkedick (184 pounds), Ben Anderson (141) and Justin Berns (149). Nagel expects all three to be among the tops seeds in their respective weight classes.

Moenkedick was second in the nation at 184 pounds last season.

“I think everybody on the team has the expectation that they want to make it to the NCAA tournament,” said Cobbers assistant coach Matt Nagel, Clay’s son.

Matt Nagel is in his first year as an assistant for the Cobbers. Clay was Matt’s high school coach at Frazee (Minn.) before Matt went on to earn a Division I All-American honors at the University of Minnesota.

“It’s been great. I kind of forgot about all the good things he used to bring and I learned from him,” Matt said of Clay. “I think it’s a pretty good little mix that we have going. … As far as technique-wise and things like that go, I’m showing the same stuff that we used to learn at the University of Minnesota.”

Clay said Matt has been a welcomed addition to the coaching staff.

“He comes from a great program from the U and he’s done camps his whole life,” Clay said of Matt. “It’s an ideal situation for us both. I can tell recruits you can come to a D-III program and get Division I coaching.”

Other stuff

Minnesota State Moorhead senior Meghan Rettke is closing in on 1,000 career points. The

6-foot-3 center has 980 points heading into Saturday’s women’s basketball game at Concordia-St. Paul. Rettke’s teammate Alison Nash-Gerlach eclipsed 1,000 career points earlier this season. … The Cobbers women’s basketball team hosts St. Olaf at 1 p.m. Saturday. Concordia, which has already clinched a spot in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament, can earn a No. 2 seed with a win and a St. Ben’s loss. The Cobbers clinch at least a No. 3 seed with a win, but a No. 2 seed would mean a first-round bye in the MIAC playoffs.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.